Research and Development is part of the Engineering responsibility in which previously unsolved customer problems are addressed. Consequently the R&D activities normally result in the development of product lines that are new to the industry. Preformed Line Products employs innovative rapid prototyping techniques, including a “first in the world” method of rapid prototyping production quantities of cast parts without the need to build a tool. Using Pro-E and Solidworks software, testing of the product can be undertaken on virtual prototypes before the first prototypes are built, further reducing development time. PLP prides itself on the introduction of composite materials in overhead line fittings and is engaged in developing state of the art coating material to replace the more traditional galvanising.